The government of Luis Lacalle Pou presented its five-year Road Infrastructure Plan on Tuesday, just over two years after the multicolored coalition came to power.
The Executive added some US$700 million to the US$2,600 initially foreseen in the five-year budget, totaling just over US3,300 million.
Lacalle assured that “each bridge, each route, for us, is a known place”, and that the development proposed in the plan “will generate a very important equity”. The president understands that some routes “are overloading (…), in others it is because there is a future load not only of raw materials, but of people who move.”
And he continued: “We manage public resources, we are elected with a government plan, with commitments, and then we are administrators (…). Sometimes the Welfare State is opposed to a more liberal State, in reality, the public and the private coexist, for that, among other things, there must be respect for the public, there must be dedication, processes, and fulfill what was promised ” .
As a reason to wait two years and not much, Lacalel said that the COVID-19 pandemic had everything to do with it because, as soon as they assumed it, the global health crisis broke out. “We had come to the Government saying that we had to save 900 million dollars, and COVID cost Uruguay 2,000 million dollars. Similarly, the Ministry of Economy and Finance not only invested that money, which was necessary, but also defined savings, separating the structural from the conjunctural, ”he specified.
Other compelling reasons
According to the Minister of Transport and Public Works, José Luis Falero, there were three main reasons for the delay in the presentation of the project. First, the government had not yet defined the new financing system for infrastructure works, through the so-called CREMAF contracts (Contract for the design, construction, rehabilitation, maintenance and financing of road infrastructure within the public domain belt). Second, because “It was the decision and definition” of the Minister of Economy and Finance, Azucena Arbeleche, who decided to incorporate Public-Private Participation (PPP) regimes into the plan in works that were not “planned.”